It’s Saturday and I am in liminal time. Last night I gave my Farewell Speech as leader of the Order of Bards Ovates & Druids. Tonight, Stephanie, Damh, Eimear and I – and whoever else would like to join us – enter into the inner world to perform the actual hand-over so that Eimear will become the new leader from that moment.
We had to pre-record the words for this event – because of lockdown we are all in different places. Damh the Bard has engineered a wonderful soundtrack to accompany the voices, and it will be available on mine and the OBOD Youtube and Facebook pages, and in a special edition of Druidcast, all released at 8pm BST tonight, when we will enter into the imaginal world to fully experience the ceremony. Listen to it here.
I feel as if I have shed a skin – fresh and new and sensitive, with tears close to the surface. But they are tears of joy, exuberance and just sheer amazement – best conveyed by the closing music of the wonderful album One World One Voice created back in 1990, which Steph and I listened to so many times just as the Order was beginning to grow. A BBC documentary accompanied the album, and in it so much of what has unfolded over the following thirty years has come to pass. It is wonderful music and song from all over the world and as fresh and relevant as it was three decades ago. And since it finishes with the message ‘We will meet again’ I will leave you with this sample from the album below, since it reflects so well how this moment feels and what I want to convey. I’m going to have a break for 6-8 weeks or so. What bliss! As little screen time as possible! My wonderful, long-suffering and talented assistant Maria, who I have worked with for over ten years, will keep the Instagram page going and field emails and so on, and then I hope to be back with some ‘Teas with a Druid’.
For now, I hope you enjoy this music. It’s time to dance and sing! And I’ll preface this with an excerpt from my speech:
Today, far from Druidry seeming like some arcane fringe activity, our preoccupations are now centre-stage: they address the most urgent and important issue of our time: how we galvanize all of our potential – practical, creative, intellectual, and spiritual – to protect and restore the Earth.
They address directly the gaze of Greta Thunberg and her generation – our children and grand-children – to say: we are committed to our love of Nature to the fullest extent, with all of our being – all looking towards the same horizon: a world in which every human being has enough to lead a happy, healthy and fulfilling life without suffering injustice, without terrible inequalities between rich and poor, without the destruction of habitats and species, without the pollution of our skies and seas.
Together, and individually in our own unique ways, I hope and believe that we can all fulfill these two most important aspirations of the Druid path: to care for our environment and all life, and to foster wisdom and compassion within ourselves and between ourselves.
Thank you for all the support you have given me over the years. Many many blessings. And – as I’m sure we are all saying to each other right now – I hope to see you again soon!
Go to about 42.50 mins in to hear the section I’d love you to hear, or listen to the whole thing! (I’ve just remembered that Nuinn invited me to see the drummers you hear at the end at the Roundhouse in London all those years ago – how time flies!)